How to File a Personal Injury Civil Lawsuit in Indiana

Rachel N. Woloshin

Author: Rachel N. Woloshin

POST DATE: 6.1.23
Ccha  Personal Injury

If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you probably have many questions about the lawsuit process. A personal injury claim seeks to hold the right person financially responsible for the cost of a personal injury.

It sounds simple enough. But even the most straightforward claim can be tedious, confusing, and time-consuming. Filing a civil lawsuit without a lawyer may only add to the challenges you face as you recover from your injuries. If you are wondering how to file a lawsuit, let Church Church Hittle and Antrim help. Contact us today.

Personal injury attorneys filing a civil lawsuit

Steps to Filing a Lawsuit

For any technical matter, it’s usually a good idea to consult a professional. Filing a civil lawsuit is no different. Although we strongly suggest hiring an attorney, it helps to know the general steps involved in the lawsuit process. Knowing what to expect can bring you peace of mind.

File the Complaint

The first step is to file the initial papers with the court. The plaintiff must file a complaint providing the general details of the claim, the parties involved, and the damages sought.

In Indiana, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. If your claim is against a city or county government or an Indiana state agency, you have an even shorter time limit and must file proper notice within that time frame.

How much does it cost to file a lawsuit?

The filing fee to initiate a lawsuit is relatively modest. The filing fee for a civil lawsuit in an Indiana state court is less than $200. However, most of the costs involved in a lawsuit are for legal fees and expenses, not the filing fee.

Luckily, most personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis. The attorney gets a certain agreed-upon percentage of whatever damages they recover for you. The lawyer receives no compensation if you do not recover damages.

How long does it take to complete a lawsuit once filed?

It is difficult to predict the exact timeline to resolve your case; it varies widely. Once filed, the duration of a lawsuit depends on several factors. These include the extent of your injuries, the number of parties involved, and possibly the court’s caseload if your case proceeds to trial. Personal injury lawsuits can take a few months to several years.

Law office files

Engaging in the Discovery Process

The discovery process is often the longest and most expensive part of litigation. To prove your claim, you must gather and present evidence to support your theory of the case. Providing evidence to prove that the accident was not your fault and caused your injuries is critical. During discovery, both sides share documents and evidence to understand each side’s strengths and weaknesses.


At any time during the lawsuit process, the parties can come together for mediation. Mediation is the process where the parties attempt to resolve the matter by negotiating a settlement in the presence of a neutral third party. The parties can also engage in settlement negotiations themselves without the assistance of a neutral third party.

To prevent accepting too low of an offer, your case must be far enough along to have full knowledge of the severity and permanence of your injuries. Your attorney can explain the benefits of pretrial negotiations versus going to trial.

Going to Trial

Trials can prove costly and take a significant amount of additional time. Thus, in some circumstances, settling your case may be ideal for all parties. The majority of personal injury claims in Indiana settle before going to trial.

Should your case fail to settle out-of-court, you must take your case to trial to seek compensation. At trial, a judge or jury will decide your case. While there is no guarantee that the judge or jury will find in your favor, having an experienced and skilled attorney is critical to increasing your chances of a favorable verdict.

Do You Have Questions About Filing a Civil Lawsuit?

No one looks forward to filing a lawsuit, but life happens. Our attorneys understand that this process can be a heavy burden. At CCHA Law, we are here to help you through this challenging time. Clients have trusted us to solve their most challenging legal issues since 1880.

CCHA Law represents clients throughout Indiana in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury cases. Our legal team can review your case and evaluate options for recovering compensation. We charge nothing for a consultation and handle almost all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis—so you pay nothing unless you recover compensation. Call today at (317) 773-2190 or connect with us through our online contact form.